What is the role of HIV in the etiology of viral meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

HIV may be a cause of atypical meningitis characterized by chronicity and recurrence. About the time of seroconversion, patients may present with CSF pleocytosis, elevated protein level and, occasionally, high intracranial pressure.

Reports have suggested that as many as 5-10% of HIV infections can be heralded by meningitis. Aside from the usual meningeal signs, HIV infections may also cause global encephalopathy, seizures, and focal neurologic deficits. Some patients develop chronically abnormal CSF findings with mild or no symptoms. HIV often can be isolated from the CSF.


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